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MLB American League Players of the Month: June 1997
Jeff King, Royals
Randy Johnson, Mariners

NEW YORK, July 1 -- Kansas City Royals third baseman Jeff King and lefthander Randy Johnson of the Seattle Mariners were chosen the American League’s "Player and Pitcher of the Month," respectively, for June.

Jeff King Jeff King is putting up the numbers that the Royals hoped for when they acquired him.
In 26 games, King led the league in RBI (29), total bases (72), and runs scored (24). The 32-year-old finished second in home runs (10), and slugging percentage (.774). He also finished in the top ten in on-base percentage (.435), and batting average (.355). Currently, King is hitting .274 with 15 home runs and 57 RBI. This is King’s first "Player of the Month" award.

King's June highlights:

  • June 1: 2-for-4, homer, two RBI
  • June 14: 3-for-5, two homers, three RBI, two runs
  • June 16: 3-for-4, two doubles, three RBI
  • June 18: 2-for-4, grand slam, four RBI
  • June 30: 2-for-4, homer, three RBI, two runs

    Johnson had a record of 4-1 with an ERA of 0.92. In six games, all starts, he pitched two complete games, one shutout, in 49.0 innings. The 33-year-old gave up 25 hits, three home runs, and 14 walks, while striking out 68.

    He led the league in strikeouts, and finished second in ERA, complete games, and innings pitched. To date Johnson is 11-2 with a 2.18 ERA. In 17 games, all starts, he has pitched two complete games, and one shutout in 124.0 innings. Johnson has given up 30 earned runs, and walked 44 while striking out 164. Johnson sported a seven game winning streak from May 13 through June 19. "The Big Unit" leads the league in strikeouts, opponents batting average against (.179), and strikeouts per 9 innings (11.9). He is second in the league in wins and ERA. This is the second "Pitcher of the Month" award for Johnson, his previous award came in June, 1990.

    The Eagles could have had both the A.L. player and pitcher of the month for June, but some years ago, manager Jim Lafargue, used his typical prescience to determine that Johnson was too tall to pitch effectively, and traded him with catcher Greg Olson to Birdsnest for Eric Hanson. Jim still hasn't heard the end of the fallout from that trade.

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